The Vigorous Climb to the Top of the High School Popularity Mountain

You’d be lying if you said you’ve never thought, I wonder what it’s like being popular. And a large majority of those who have had that thought circling in their mind have probably also wished to be popular. You know, the fancy brand clothing, a large friend circle, a thousand followers on Instagram, receiving texts and inside details on the party coming up this Saturday night, and all the other crap that comes with it. It’s the dream life for a high schooler.

And those below them who pray to be them throw away their whole high school experience on trying to get to the top, alongside the prom queens and the quarterback. Obsessing over their tweets and Instagram captions, struggling to purchase the perfect clothing (lululemon pants, long champ bag, vineyard vines shirts, I could go on forever), and just dying to exchange a few words with the senior boy who every girl crushes on. And it might take a while to reach the peak. The ultimate height of social status. Your Instagram followers and likes start to increase, you find yourself being added into more group chats, and you start hearing people mention your name more often.

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Your dreams are finally coming true and life is coming together just brilliantly. But is it really? When you finally stop micro managing your snapchat streaks and think about it, you are emotionally draining yourself to travel down a road with a dead end. You are finally accepted amongst the “chosen ones” and life seems perfect, but then it’s graduation day. Now what? You go to college and your whole slate is wiped completely clean. Maybe you don’t go to college, but either way you are not going back to your high school where those around you seemed to envy everything about you.

No one wants to be you, now. And god forbid you enter the real world with the same attitude you had in high school; you are at the top and everyone secretly wishes to just be near you. Nobody, especially in college, wants to befriend someone who thinks they are better than everyone else because their peers thought so in the crowded halls of their hierarchy of a school. Maybe wasting time on superficial and arbitrary things was a good experience for you and you loved your life like that. But looking back- did you say what you wanted to say when you wanted to say it? Or did you choke back words you may have been criticized for? Did you hangout with people you genuinely liked no matter what their popularity status was? Or did you freeze people out who were considered “weird”? Did you buy that sweater you absolutely fell in love with and wear it to school the next day feeling like a fashion icon? Or did your heart break putting it back on the rack because it was from JC Penney and someone might ask you where you got it from? Too much time and energy is wasted, especially during your high school years.

Whether it be on stress, drama, boys, clubs, sports, you name it. Obsessing over meaningless things like social media and what clothes you wear will only make things worse. And at the end of the day, you shouldn’t have to conform to make others like you. You shouldn’t have to be someone you’re not just for the satisfactory that for four long, busy, stressful, potentially amazing years of your life, teens going through the same thing you are will look at you and say “I want to be like her.”